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A Library of Links

Typically, when someone posts an oft asked question, the response is usually, "Read! Read! Read!...Then read some more!" While that is sound advice, the thing is, there is rarely a suggestion of just what to read. With literally ten's of thousands of threads to go through, that is no easy task, especially for a first-timer. As an extension of Bongasaurus's "Micro Grow Stickies" thread, I came up with a few links that I hope will serve to entertain, enlighten, and educate both the beginner as well as the master gardener. This is not intended as a "be all, end all" to growing weed. It is intended to serve as a starting point, no matter your experience level. I will be updating and adding links to this list, from time to time, and most will have a Micro Grow and/or beginner bent, but not exclusively so.

Please feel free to post any links that you think may make an interesting read or is a superior thread to what is listed. If I include it in the first page of the thread, I will gladly give you credit for bringing it to our attention. But, please know that I am on dialup and I don't download video's because of the time it takes, so an inclusion of a video link on the first page may not happen.

Finally, also note that I am only putting up the link and not the content. If anyone has difficulty with a link's content please contact the owner of that particular page. By the same token, if there is something that you found particularly useful (especially here at ICMag) then I encourage you to let the Original Poster know. OP's like knowing something they brought to the table still has merit.

ICMag links:


An often missed forum that answers a lot of tech questions about the site.
Website Support forum

You cannot change the past, you can only change the future. Be prepared.
Security and Legal Issues forum

Either the Infirmary Forum or the following link should have been one of the first pages in the first three visits you made here at IC...and certainly both within the first five visits!

A library in it's own right!
“The Most Influential ICMag Threads... lets see them,” by LiLWaynE

Apart from what keeps any one of us here, ultimately, this is what brought every one of us here.
“THC 1o1 thread from og,” by LowGrow

Scientific confirmation of what more experienced growers have known all-along. This one should be required reading!
“This is a gold mine of cannabis growing Laboratory research,” by LJB

Not to be confused with the "R.U.S.T. GROW" thread by Motaco. This one is a taxonomic walk through Sativadom. Well written and as insightful a read as you will find.
"Revival of the Ultimate Sativa Thread," by Motaco

The man knows his bidness!
“Understanding Inorganic Salts and Their Relationship to Plant Nutrition,” by Grat3fulh3ad


An outstanding reference on Dx'ing problems and potential problems.
“Plant Nutritiion and Visual Diagnosis,” by Gr3atfulh3ad recommended by Cozy Amnesia

I have yet to see any of these, but I would trust Core’s good judgement.
“Great Cannabis Video Links…FYI,” by Core

The first of many helpful threads.
“Basic Lighting Terminology and Definitions,” by I.M. Boggled

Similarities, differences, and how they are used.
“Lumens and Lux and PAR, Oh My!,” presented by PreacherManZero

An essay not to be seen as, "Why?" But, rather, "Why not?"
“The Truth on Flouro Vs HID,” by Thundurkle

If plant count is not a concern, but, maximum yield in a small space is...have a read!
“DrBud for Dummy’s,” by eLiguL

Everything has to start somewhere.
“Basic Lighting Terminology and Definitions,” by I.M. Boggled

HID users have nothing on these guys!
“CFL Club!” by CFL…King

“PLL Club. (if you don’t know, now you know),” by Melkor420

A reference for the rest of us.
"PC Case Growers Club," by Rkrone

This one is a bit too obvious for a pun!
“ICMAGS Minifridge Clubhouse,” by Disfunktional

The venerable Mills Pride club at OG, revived here. A long thread, but a wealth of info on "controlled environment" enclosures. Props to Sumo for starting, and all those contributing to, this thread.
"The Mills Pride Club" by Sumo

Practical guides to what each wattage can and cannot do.
“70w HPS Club,” by Mk3Jetta
“150w HPS and Resource Guide” by Pipedream
“250W HPS Users,” by creeptic recommended by Freezerboy
“400W Club,” recommended by Freezerboy
"Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)," by MPL and recomended by Freezerboy
“IC 600W Club,” recommended by Freezerboy
“IC 1000W Phone Booth Club,” by Bambam

Novice to Intermediate:

For those who don't want to take the time to know, good luck on your journey. But, for those who have their wits about them, these will give you back more than the time spent reading them. (A special thanks to I.M. Boggled, because he gives a damn about people he has never met, and likely never will!)
“Basic Princples of Electricity,” by I.M. Boggled
“Electrical Safety for Indoor Grows,” by I.M. Boggled
“Smoke Alarms…Detectors (fyi),” by I.M. Boggled
“Extension Cord Safety (fyi),” by I.M. Boggled
“Fire Extinguisher: 101 (fyi),” by I.M. Boggled

As good a grounding in the basics as it gets. Thanks Kodiak!
“A Cannabis Growing Guide – What I have learned during my five years of growing weed,” by Kodiak

Don't let the title fool you, the first half of this OP is about as informative a guide as I have seen...anywhere! Thanks to DHarvester for shining a light on this.
"Starting a Medical Cabinet and Bubbler Principles
(by Lucas)," by DHarvester

A wealth of info on just about anything cannabis...and then some!
“Wanna Ask The Old Farts A Question?,” by HempKat

Don't let the title fool you, the first half of this OP is about as informative a guide as I have seen...anywhere! Thanks to DHarvester for shining a light on this.
"Starting a Medical Cabinet and Bubbler Principles
(by Lucas)," by DHarvester

Know your enemy!
“Introduction to Mites,” by I.M. Boggled

Insight into what you need to consider.
"Striders Guide to Micro-Level Cannabis Cultivation SE," by Strider

Be honest, how many of us give this little more than a passing thought?
“Painting the Growroom.” by clampie

I think too few people realize that it is not as much about air movement as much as it is about the transfer of heat. The amount of air flow is just part of the equation. An excellent guide to one of the most troublesome aspects of growing.
“Ventilation 101,” by redgreenry

Yeah! Broken down in terms even I can understand.
“Understanding Air Flow,” by Hoosierdaddy

Is it getting to the point where driving miles to fight traffic and crowds of people just so you can haul jugs of RO water up multiple flights of stairs for a small grow, is becoming more of a chore than a labor of love?
“DIY Reverse Osmosis,” by Pipedream

The journey of 1000 miles, begins with a single step.
“Germination…What Methods do You Use?” by SteppinRazor

Plant count be damned! As far as I am concerned, the best tutorial on anything I have seen outside a text book and even better than most of those.
“Hempy’s Perpetual Harvest in 90 Days,” by HappyHemphog

Simple to use and easy to maintain! As good an introduction to hydro for beginners as it gets!
“The Official Hempy Bucket Thread,” by Southern Seeds

A solid foundation for understanding what each technique is and when and how to use.
“A Complete Guide to Topping, Training, and Pruning,” by Kodiak

For those who need to learn it before they can do it...
“Understanding the Art of LST,” by Quazi

...and for those who need to do it before they can learn it.
"LST Pictures," by Hawk

A must know technique for cab growers.
“Everything you need to know about the SCROG method,” presented by Joe Budden

Thanks to Underground Man, who went through a lot of threads, to save someone else from having to search through the same ones.
“Links to SCROG Grows,” by Undergroun Man

Not recommended for volume curing, but, if you need a quick method to sample a small bud, this works pretty well!
“Very Quick, Quick Dry Method,” presented by Stayhigh149

This method is not for the connoisseur. It virtually eliminates aroma and taste. But, if stealth is your aim, it doesn't get much more on target, than this.
“Water Cure 1,2,3, ala TK,” by Texaskid
“Water Cure,” by NiteTiger (Single post)

If the previous curing methods leave you wanting, try this...
“A perfect cure every time,” by Simon

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
“I need tips on making seeds,” by Shmokin

I wonder if they have flower pots somewhere in the capital rotunda?
“Overgrowing the Planet – the use of Seed Bombs,” by Smoking Moose

You're going to have to deal with it, so what are you going do with it?
“Creative ways to dispose of pot trash,” by Avon Barksdale

“The Reveg Thread,” by Thundurkel

Intermediate to Skilled:

I include these in the more advanced category, not because they are difficult to do, but because, while one f**k-up with the cab could cost you your grow, one f**k-up with electricity could cost you your life. Make sure you know what you're doing.
“Basic Principles of Good Wiring,” by I.M. Boggled
“The Ultimate Beginners Guide to PC Fans,” by ScrubNinja
“Yayyy! My First Colloidal Silver Generator” by PhenoMenal
“Light Wiring Help,” by Minigreens (wiring sockets in parallel)
“Building a Fluoro Tube Setup – DIY,” by Bounty29


Sativa's have a reputation, undeserved or not, of being difficult to manage indoors. "A guide to Growing Sativa's," at the start of this thread by Motaco, should take a bit of the troublesome out of growing Sat's in a cab. Well written, informative, and enlightening.
"Revival of the Ultimate Sativa GROW Thread," by Motaco

Evidently some have taken Motaco's words to heart!
“MICRO HAZE / SATIVA THREAD,” by mostnonymouse

Every time I read this I learn something new. Thanks, BT!
“Big Tokes – Basic Water Chemistry!!,” by Big Toke

Time and space are linear; life is rythmic and circular.
“aquaponics - for the fish folk,” by Hephaestus

An essential tool...period!
“All About Bonsai Moms/Mums,” presented by Guerilla1018

The why of keeping a mother...bonsai or not.
“Cloning with JJScorpio," by JJScorpio

Whether or not you ever use this method, it's still good to know.
“Holding clones in stasis? (The refridgerator method),” by I. M. Boggled

“Phytochrome and Forced Flower Via Spectrum Alteration,” by Mr Celsius

An alternative to PVC lightproof intake vents.
“DIY A new angle on light proof vents,” by ScrubNinja

This goes towards anyone who's concerned about plant count. I recommend a read through, but if not, go to post #52. A nice quasi-collaborative effort from Sunnydog and Expertsetup.
"Grafting?" by Sunnydog

A discussion on the techniques involved.
“Grafting to Make a Multistrain Mother,” by Anima

By itself or combined with the grafting threads above, an attractive thought indeed!
“30+ Strains and Hybrids for Under $200” by I.M. Boggled

As if some of you needed another reason to be a strain whore!
“How To Store Seeds for Years...,” by EmpireSeeds

Detailed and thorough!
“Air cooled reflector testing with digital footcandle meter,” by Pico

A cursory look at uber-stealth.
“Hidden Rooms and Such…” by ItsAllOver

In most cases, I believe form should follow function. Thank the stars, that there are exceptions! A stroll through anyone’s definition of sanctuary.
“Mmmm plants,” by Sheriff Bart

A Variety of Cabs

A great wardrobe style cab and a great how-to. Props to Hoosierdaddy.
"My Cabinet (w/DIY's and lots of love)" by Hoosierdaddy

Geez, Louise!
“Destroyer on Ice – 250CMH Freezer Grow,” by FreezerBoy

Thinking outside the box...so to speak.
"The High-Pod" by Inefectualize

Surely, at some point, the question ceases to be, "Where can I grow?" To become, "Where can't I grow?"
“Hornet’s 250W Attic Cab (First Grow),” by Headless Hornet

Yes! It really is that simple. Thank's to Tony Danza.
"Here's a Fun Little Cab I Whipped Up" by Tony Danza (no relation)

There are many PC grows, but, this is the first one I ever read through. I am still amazed!
“Mr Micro Presents: The Nanomachine,” by Mr Micro

You wanna see skills!? 70w HPS in about 1/2 of a cubic foot of space!
"Romantica-turbo/HPS70/nanoclass" by microRU

Off-Site Links:

Please read! I have no reason to suspect the worst from any of the links below, however, I cannot say for certain that they are on the up and up either. A judgement call only you can make as to what your relative security comfort level is.


In all my years, I have had no need to convert kilometers to tablespoons, but you never know.
"Convert just about anything to anything else."

You will have to go off-site, from the link below, to download this 3D program (32MB +/-). Whether or not anyone wanted to do so, I felt the option should be presented.
“ICMag Google Sketchup Database,” by Beaner

Say this three times, real fast! "There is an equation for every occasion and an occasion for every equation." They even have their own Sketchup Edition that is compatible with the regular version.
“The Engineering Toolbox: Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!"

As good an explanation, in lay terms, to the properties of light I have found. Or, you can use a search engine for, "Reefkeeping, an online magazine," and look through their archives for the Feb., Mar., April, and May, 2006 issues.
Part I: “What is Light?”
Part II: “Photons,”
Part III: “Making Sense of Light Measures,”
Part IV: “Color Temperature,”

An onlie guide to troubleshooting HID's.
“Troubleshooting and Maintenance Guides,” (for HID and linear fluorescent) from Universal Lighting Technologies


I have posted this one a few times and is one of my fav's. I have printed it out and refer to it often. As I have said before, it's a bit dated, but still has a lot of relevance to cab growing.
"The International Lighting in Controlled Environments Workshop"

A free HS/college level class!
"An On-line Textbook of Natural History,"

A short and very good explanation of the process!
"Photosynthesis, an introduction"

A crash course in...well, plant development and physiology, from the U. of Saskatchewan.
"Plant Development and Physiology," (A pdf download)

A trove of information on all things botanical.
"Plant Physiology," pub. by The American Society of Plant Biologists

One of the best free books you will ever own.
"Marijuana Botany," by Robert C. Clark (text only)

The archives aren't all that extensive, but, what they do have are pure nuggets of historical, anecdotal, medicinal, and scientific articles of gold about Cannabis Sativa L.
"Journal of the International Hemp Association,"

Research Papers, articles, and items of interest:

I would consider this one as something of an introduction to the next link.
"Dioecious Plants. A Key to the Early Events of Sex Chromosome Evolution,"

If you're anything like me, some of this may as well be written in Greek. But, that doesn't mean you can't grasp the gist of what the author has to say.
“Boys and Girls Come Out to Play: The Molecular Biology of Dioecious Plants,” Ainsworth (A pdf download)

Who, what, where, when, and why.
“Photoreceptors in Plant Photomorphogenesis to Date,”

Do plants have to reset their clocks to Daylight Savings Time?
“Photoreceptors and Regulation of Flowering Time,”

Want to increase your germ rates?
"Germination Micro-Site Perception: the Role of Light Quality and Quantity,"
"Smoke Induced Germination,"

A collection of updates, editorials, and correspondences.
Concepts and terminology of apical dominance
Control of Outgrowth and Dormancy of Axillary Buds
Early Evolution of Photosynthesis
Flavonoids and Isoflavonoids: From Plant Biology to Agriculture and Neuroscience
The Elements of Plant Micronutrients
The Power of Auxin in Plants
The Timing of Flowering
Systems Biology Uncovers the Foundation of Natural Genetic Diversity
Systems Biology of Organ Initiation at the Shoot Apex
Phosphorus Uptake by Plants: From Soil to Cell
Regulation of Root and Fungal Morphogenesis in Mycorrhizal Symbioses
The Circadian Clock. A Plant’s Best Friend in a Spinning World
Stress Under the Sun: Spotlight on UV-B Responses
A UV-B-Specific Signaling Component Orchestrates Plant UV Protection
Maintenance of Shoot and Floral Meristem Cell Proliferation and Fate
UV-B Mediated Responses in Plants
BL Signaling Through the Cryptochromes and Phototropins
The Red Side of Photomorphogenesis
"Making Sense of Senescence" (A pdf download under Updates)

A lot of old wives tales do contain a kernel of truth!
"The Chemical Ecology of Cannabis," by D.W. Pate

These three links have outdoor grown hemp leanings, but still has value as a reference for the rest of us.
“Microbiological Contaminants of Marijuana,” by McPartland
“A Review of Cannabis Diseases,” by McPartland
“Cannabis Pests,” by McPartland

If this doesn't scare the hell out of you, then nothing will!
“Killing Cannabis with Mycoherbicides,” by McPartland

From one of the authorities on Cannabis, Robert C. Clarke.
“Physical Evidence for the Antiquity of Cannabis sativa L.,” by Fleming and Clarke

Just For Fun:

From Aristotle to zen.
"Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource,"

I find it refreshing that the central tenet of the definitive book on waging war is, "To win without fighting, is best."
“The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu

As a point of information!
"The Kyoto Protocol,"

Early in the 19th century Alexis de Tocqueville came to America for a two year study of it's prison system. He stayed for over ten and traveled extensively throughout the new country. Upon his return to France he wrote and published an insightful critique of American culture. A lengthy read (889 pg), it is a good historical account of early America in the 1810's/1820's, as well as still having some merit and credence to American life today. For a study of America and Americans:
"Democracy in America," by Alexis de Tocqueville

An excellent, free anti-spyware/malware program, with free updates!.
"Spybot-Search and Destroy,"

A free top-down WWII based IGOUGO game that was originally designed for a DOS platform but has since been reworked to play on Windows 9X (I am running it on XP with np). It comes with dozens of scenarios and several campaigns or you can download dozens of user designed ones from sites dedicated to the game. If you like chess, you're going to LOVE this one. To download this huge 475(+/-)MB file, I suggest a download manager (http://www.download.com/2000-2001_4-0.html).
"Steel Panthers: World at War"

Got a few old DOS games lying around and, on occasion, find yourself reminiscing about the good old days? An x86 emulator with DOS
"DOSBox; Way more FPS than Counterstrike!"

Pack a bowl, sit back, and try to keep up!
North American English Dialects


An odd little place where odd little men do odd little things for odd little reasons. Roll a bigg'un, and leave bread crumbs along the way so you can find your way back.
"Archive of Suppressed, Dormant, and Emerging Sciences"

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
"Society for Scientific Exploration"

WTF!? I mean, WTF!? I suggest you don't hit any paranoia inducing pure sativa's before you go here! This takes the meaning of "crack-pot" to new levels!
What does it mean?

It's surprising what one can do with a metal ring! Zero ads and no registration required to access all threads.
M.A.I.L. (Maille Artisans International League)

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Charts, graphs, and Illustrations:

Comparative plant sizes.

Energy in...............energy out.

Where "Wattage" = bulb wattage and "Diff. F*" = desired intake to exhaust temperature differential.

I wonder if Caligrower knows the extent his time and effort has paid off for the rest of us. The following CFM chart is based on the above heat transfer formula.

Absorption spectrum of various pigments

Reflective properties of various surfaces

MH and HPS Foot Candle charts.

MH and HPS PAR graphs.

Relative penetration for HPS lamps.

A typical incandescent SPD.

Red/Far-red ratio at End Of Day

Lamp Lumen Depreciation

Kelvin Color Temperature

Pot sizes and volume capacity.

Hydro and soil pH ranges.

A graph of carbon dioxide enrichment levels.

A reference for sound-damping

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Ammo for the anti-prohibitionist.

Something for our outdoor brothers and sisters.


Common Ballast ANSI codes for HID lighting.

Mercury Vapor
H46 - 50 watt standard MV
H43 - 75 watt standard MV
H36 - 100 watt standard MV
H42 - 125 watt standard MV (European MV and some high pressure sodium lamps*)
H39 - 175 watt standard MV (Some high pressure sodium lamps*)
H37 - 250 watt standard MV (Some high pressure sodium lamps*)
H33 - 400 watt standard MV (Some high pressure sodium lamps*)
H36 - 1000 watt standard MV (Some high pressure sodium lamps*)

Low Pressure sodium
L69 - 18 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)
L70 - 35 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)
L71 - 55 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)
L72 - 90 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)
L73 - 135 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)
L74 - 180 watt LPS (SOX/SOX-E)

High Pressure Sodium
S76 - 35 watt standard HPS
S104 - 50 watt White SON
S68 - 50 watt standard HPS
S62 - 70 watt standard HPS
S105 - 100 watt White SON
S54 - 100 watt standard HPS
S55 - 150 watt (55 volt) standard HPS
S56 - 150 watt (100 volt) standard HPS (European SON/HPS lamps)
S66 - 200 watt standard HPS
S50 - 250 watt standard HPS (some metal halide*)
S51 - 400 watt standard HPS (some metal halide and European metal halide*)
SON AGRO - 430 watt SON
S106 - 600 watt standard HPS
S111 - 750 watt standard HPS
S52 - 1000 watt standard HPS

Metal Halide
M130 - 35/39 watt MH
M110 - 50 watt MH (standard and pulse start)
M85 - 70 watt MH (double-ended and BiPin lamps)
M98 - 70 watt MH (standard, pulse start, and operates some double - ended and BiPin lamps)
M139 - 70 watt MH (ceramic metal halide, some double - ended, and some BiPin lamps)
M90 - 100 watt MH (standard, pulse start, and operates some double - ended lamps)
M91 - 100 watt MH (double-ended and BiPin lamps)
M140 - 100 watt MH (ceramic metal halide, some double - ended, and some BiPin lamps)
M81 - 150 watt MH (double - ended and BiPin lamps)
M102 - 150 watt MH (standard, pulse start, and operates some double - ended and BiPin lamps)
M142 - 150 watt MH (ceramic metal halide, some double - ended, and some BiPin lamps)
M107 - 150 watt MH (energy saving probe start / Replaces 175 watt probe start lamps)
M137 - 175 watt MH (pulse start and some European lamps*)
M57 - 175 watt MH (standard probe start and some high pressure sodium lamps*)
M58 - 250 watt MH (standard probe start and some high pressure sodium lamps*)
M80 - 250 watt MH (double-ended and some European lamps*)
M138 - 250 watt MH (pulse start and some European bulbs*)
M59 - 400 watt MH (standard probe start and some high pressure sodium lamps*)
M135 - 400 watt MH (pulse start and some European lamps*)
M128 - 400 watt MH (pulse start lamps)
M47 - 1000 watt MH (standard probe start and some high pressure sodium lamps*)
M141 - 1000 watt MH (pulse start, double ended, and operates some European lamps)
M48 - 1500 watt MH (probe start lamps)
M133 - 1500 watt MH (pulse start, double-ended and some European lamps)
M134 - 2000 watt MH (pulse start - double-ended lamps)
*Note: Conversion bulbs

Not all lamps are compatible. Always check the lamp markings for the proper type ballast!




1. No Power to Ballast
Check fuses or other causes of power outages.

2. Normal End of Lamp Life
Often the simplest procedure is to test the lamp in an adjacent fixture which is known to be operating properly and then replace as necessary. It should be kept in mind that series ballasts will occasionally extinguish the adjacent lamp if one is removed.

3. Lamp Loose in Socket
Inspect the lamp to see if there is any indication of arcing at center contact button. Tighten lamp to seat it properly. If base is distorted and will not seat properly in the socket, replace lamp.

4. Optical & Other Sensing Devices Inoperative
Replace sensing device. (Check this by covering sensing device to block out light while power is applied to fixture.)

5. Defective or Improper Wiring
Examine wiring to ensure it conforms with wiring diagram on the ballast label. Check primary wiring to ballast and from ballast to socket to establish circuit continuity. Check connections to see that they are secure. Check for under-sizing of wire gauge, resulting in lowered voltage. Repair circuit.

6. Voltage at Fixture Too Low
Measure line voltage at input of ballast. For most types of ballasts, measured line voltage should be within 10% of label rating. With many types of distribution systems, increased loading or demand decreases available voltage at the ballast primary. Therefore, ideally, a check should be made at full load. If tapped ballast, match ballast tap connection to supply voltage measured at ballast. Increase supply voltage if feasible. Verify that lamp to remote ballast distance is acceptable.

7. Incompatible Ballasting
Correct ballasting is essential for dependable HID lamp operation. Any HID lamp will perform erratically or fail to start on an incorrect ballast. Make sure that the ballast label data agrees with the line voltage and lamp used. Incorrect ballasting will generally cause a lamp to fail prematurely.

8. Defective Shorted Ballast
A shorted ballast will generally cause the seals at the end of the arc tube to rupture with an indicative blackening in the seal ring area. Shorted condition may be due to shorted capacitors, shorted leads or shorted winding. Replace components as required.

9. Improper Lamp Operating Position (Metal Halide Only)
The operating position should agree with the lamp specifications. A BU-HOR lamp can be operated base up, vertical to, and including the horizontal, and BD can be operated base down, vertical to, approaching, but not including the horizontal. A lamp operated beyond the specified position may not start and degrade lamp performance if it does start.

10. Lamp Has Been Operating : Cool Down Time Insufficient (Hot Restrike)
When HID lamps are operating and the supply voltage is cut or interrupted, the lamps will require a period of time to cool and re-establish optimum starting conditions. Bare mercury and metal halide lamps require from four to eight minutes cool down time. High pressure sodium lamps require approximately one minute to cool before restriking. In a luminaire, restart time varies with the degree of ventilation built into it, ambient temperature, and draft conditions. The time from cool to restartable condition can realistically range up to 20 minutes for mercury and metal halide lamps in tight luminaires.

11. High Restrike Voltage (Metal Halide Only)
This condition is peculiar to the metal halide lamp. It does not occur with mercury. If the supply voltage to a metal halide lamp is interrupted during the warm up period, the subsequent restrike voltage (voltage required to restart the lamp) may be higher than that required for a lamp which has been allowed to stabilize (come up to full output normally) or to cool down to normal room temperature.

12. Improper Ballast for Lamp Operating Conditions Environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, high humidity and other factors affect ballast operation. Check lamp environmental operating conditions against published performance.

13. End of Ballast Life
The appearance or condition of a ballast may give a clue to whether it is good or not. If it is charred, it may have been subjected to sustained excessive heat. Swollen capacitors indicate trouble. Check with appropriate testers, ammeter, and voltmeter. Frequently, the failure mode of a ballast is capacitor failure with consequent low power factor operation and high current. This leads to overheating of the core and coil and eventual failure.

14. Defective Ignitor
Insure that the lamp is good. Disconnect the ignitor and install a specified test lamp. If the test lamp lights, the ballast is good but the ignitor is not. Replace ignitor. If the test lamp does not light, the ballast has most likely reached its end of life.

15. Mismatched Ignitor
Verify that the ballast and ignitor are matched according to the specifications. Replace if necessary.

16. Lamp Defects
Common defects that require the lamp to be replaced include:

* Arc tube leak
* Open welds
* Probe or cathode moly electrolysis
* Diode or switch shorted
* Quartz devitrification around rod
* Sodium leak
* Open diode



1. Lamp Physically Damaged
Investigate the possibility of outer bulb damage from handling or transportation that may have cracked glass. If air enters outer bulb, arc tube may continue to burn for 100 hours before failure. Check to see if the bulb is broken where glass meets the base due to twisting lamp too firmly into socket or scoring of glass where socket inadvertently touches the lamp bulb. Look for broken arc tube or loose metal parts. A leak in the outer bulb will cause oxidation of the metal parts inside. In high pressure sodium, the dark gettering material in the neck of the bulb near the base will turn white or disappear. Replace lamp.

2. Wrong Ballast
Make sure that the ballast label agrees with the line voltage and the installed lamp. The 1,000 watt Mercury lamp, for example, is made in the H34 (High Current) and the H36 (Low Current) types with a separate ballast available for each type. If the H34 ballast is used with the H36 lamp or vice versa, the life of the lamp will be adversely affected and can destroy the ballast. A similar situation exists with S55, S56 and S63 150 watt high pressure sodium lamps.

3. Lamp Operating in Incorrect Position
Either change positioning of fixture or replace lamp with one suitable for that position.

4. Faulty Capacitor
To check capacitor, disconnect and discharge it. Then, using an ohmmeter, set to the highest scale, check for faults, 1) if meter reads low resistance initially and increases, capacitor is good. 2) if meter reads low resistance initially and remains the same, the capacitor is SHORTED and should be replaced. 3) if meter reads high resistance initially and remains the same, the capacitor is OPEN and should be replaced.



1. Wrong Ballast
With mercury lamps, improper ballasting can cause flickering or erratic operation. With metal halide lamps, the effect is generally noticed in the startup period when the lamp ignites, starts to warm up and then extinguishes (cycling). This may be caused by improper voltage/current relationships delivered by ballast. Under certain conditions new lamps may "cycle". Usually after three tries to start at 30 to 60 second intervals lamps will stabilize and operate normally.

2. High Lamp Operating Voltage/Low Open Circuit Ballast Voltage
Measure lamp operating voltage. Measure ballast open circuit voltage. Replace as required.

3. Variable Voltage
Heavy motor loads or welding appliances on line can cause flickering during operation. Remove lighting circuits from the circuits serving these devices. Provide voltage regulators. Check for loose connection. Use of Constant Wattage Isolated (CWI) ballasts not Constant Wattage Auto (CWA) can frequently help this situation.

4. HPS Cycler
As a high pressure sodium lamp is burned for long periods of time, its operating voltage tends to increase. When this point is reached, the lamp will exhibit cycling on and off characteristics. This is normal end of life lamp. Replace the lamp after checking ballast open circuit voltage and lamp operating voltage.



1. Hard Starter
A hard starter is a lamp which will not start rapidly. It may glow for extended periods of time destroying cathodes. It should be replaced after checking voltage and ballast.



1. Overloaded Circuit
Rewire to accommodate starting current of lamp/ballast combination.

2. High Momentary Transient Current
Can be caused by reactor or autotransformer ballasts which draw high initial currents. Use current protective devices incorporating time delay elements. If these fail, change ballast as its characteristics will affect lamp life.



1. Normal Light Output DepreciationThroughout Life
Refer to maintenance characteristics of lamp in technical publications comparing light output vs. burning time. If depreciation is within published range, replace lamp.

2. Incorrect Voltage
Check ballast label to see if rating designation conforms to lamp rating description. Correct if necessary. Check line voltage at ballast and set ballast tap to voltage reading. If not tapped, check ballast voltage range against input voltage. Check wiring connections for voltage loss points. Check socket contact point. Use CWI ballast.

3. Incorrect Ballast Output
Check ballast output to determine if it conforms to lamp requirements. If voltage and current do not stabilize in five to ten minutes warm-up time, ballast output is incorrect and adjustment should be made. Check capacitor wiring, if visibly available, to determine if capacitors are properly wired.

4. Dirt Accumulation
Check and clean lamp and luminaire. Establish maintenance program.

5. Faulty Capacitor
Check capacitor rating to specification. Measure capacitance to specification using capacitance meter. Replace capacitor if necessary.



1. Overwattage Operation Improper Ballasting
Check for possibility that lamp is operated on ballast designed for higher wattage lamp. Overwattage operation can cause premature blackening. Check ballast label against lamp specification.

2. Excessive Current or Shorted Capacitor(s)
Check voltage at ballast. Check for possibility of current or voltage surges which can damage arc Voltage tube or seals or burn up connecting ribbons inside outer tube. Check for shorted capacitors and replace ballast if shorts are found.

3. Reflector Problem
Reflector design may refocus radiant energy directly on the arc tube or other parts of the lamp causing overheating. Limits for allowable voltage rise due to fixture effect are listed in High Pressure Sodium Engineering Bulletins. If this is suspected, the luminaire should be tested in a laboratory.

4. "Glow State" Operation
Under certain lamp and/or ballast operating conditions, lamps will go into a partial discharge (dim glow) which will darken arc tube and cause short life. Replace lamp and check ballast.



1. Normal Maintenance
In addition to the normal decrease in light output or brightness, a color shift can occur as lamps age. Spot replacement of failures with new lamps may show very noticeable differences in lamp colors. A group relamping program minimizes this problem.

2. Wrong Lamp Color
Check etch on lamps which appear different to see that they are actually the same color. Replace with correct color lamp.

3. Range of Manufacturing Tolerances
Due to tolerance ranges from manufacturers, slight differences in color can be corrected by grouping those of similar color.

4. Variations in Luminaires
Variations in the surface or finish of the reflectors and/or lenses can introduce color differences. Interchange lamps to check on possible luminaire differences. Dirty fixtures can also create differences, emphasizing the importance of adequate maintenance.

5. Variations in the Environment
In common with luminaire variations, color differences in ceilings, walls, floors and furnishings as well as other sources of illumination in the area can affect the appearance of the lamp color.

6. Faulty Capacitor
Check capacitor rating to specification. Measure capacitance to specification, using capacitance meter. Replace capacitor if necessary.


Cool, very cool.

Cool, very cool.

was going to post a thank-you but got caught-up in all the information and entertainment. All links superior.
Tony Danza said:
Nice list, maybe we can get another sticky up in this forum.

Thank you and I suppose that that is an option. Please come back from time to time. I will be making additions as I find them.

Namaste, mess
excellent collection of INFO, i keep coming back....

thanks for adding my thread to the list! I cant allow such flattery to get to my head :)


Great list of links. You hit almost every one that I've visited in my learnings within this forums.


Good job!
Storm Crow - I am no writer, or researcher and I have a slow connection speed, but, I have a lot of time on my hands. Approaching a search for the various forums just seems a bit overwhelming to some, so, I put together a few links to threads that have a broader spectrum than just one flavor of forum. It just seemed that other forums might have projects, methods, or innovations relevant and adaptable to a small personal grow. Thanks for stopping by, Granny, I hope you found something to your liking. If not, please stop by again another time, I may have put something up by then that you might find interesting.

Inefectualize - Thanks!

Seulguide - I just hope you were able to find something you could use. Thanks for stopping by.

Quazi - Like the avatar...takes me back.

Namaste, mess


Thanks again!

You're not the first to comment on my avatar taking 'em back.

I still remember QW, QWCTF, and then QWTF. Oh Quake. How you changed the industry forever, the world may never know.

-Q :rasta:
Thanks! But, I must admit to a bit of guilt over any kind words. To me, this is just an extension or continuation of Bongasaurus's "Micro Grow Stickies" thread and it wasn't me who started any of these threads, I just put them on one page.

Namaste, mess


king of the dinosaurs
kick ass! well done my man. one hell of an extension, feel no guilt. im glad it got stickied. compiling and posting all that stuff can be alot of work in itself. should help out alot of micogrowers. including myself:bow:
bongasaurus said:
kick ass! well done my man. one hell of an extension, feel no guilt. im glad it got stickied. compiling and posting all that stuff can be alot of work in itself. should help out alot of micogrowers. including myself:bow:

Thank you, sir, that is very kind of you to say.

Namaste, mess

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